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Find the top rated cross country skiing trails in West Pensacola, whether you're looking for an easy short cross country skiing trail or a long cross country skiing trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a cross country skiing trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
The Pensacola Beach Trail is part of my favorite Florida rides. What really makes this ride special is the additional mileage you can do on both ends of the trail. If you start at the eastern most point and continue east, you are on wide bike lanes which are extensions to the road. This takes you through Gulf Islands National Seashore park. All you see on both sides is sand and water. Since Santa Rosa island is about 2 miles off the Florida mainland, you have the sound to your left and the Gulf of Mexico on your right. This is totally undeveloped. You can take this all the way into Navarre Beach. The road speed limit is only 35 MPH so passing cars don't speed by you. It is also a low traffic road so most of the time you are by yourself. The park has some facilities but you must pay to use them.
If you follow the trail west, you will end just outside Fort Pickens which is also part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore park system. You must pay to enter the park, but the ride to the Fort is again beautiful and has little traffic. This Civil War fort is the only one (from the original 3) that still survives. It was the only fort in this area that the Confederates did not overrun. It was also a temporary holding ground from Geronimo after he was captured. There are rest room here and a convenience store right outside the campgrounds. Be sure to watch the movie about the fort. It will give you a lot of background to the area. If you are lucky you will see the Blue Angels practice because you right next to the Naval Air Base.
If you include the two side trips, the total round trip ride is around 55 miles. Quite pleasant and FLAT!!! However, being next to the water, you will always be dealing with wind. Wear LOTS of sun blocker because there is NO SHADE.
This trail runs along the perimeter of the Brookley airport. It is quiet and secluded as it runs behind houses. Most riders extend it by riding along the bay road to the park. It has little to no traffic and is perfect for road bikes.
For the record, I live a couple of blocks from the trail on the northern end in Daphne. I have ridden the trail many times and twice all the way from Daphne to the end of County Road 1 south of Point Clear (around 25 miles one-way). It definitely has its share of positives and negatives. But if you come knowing what to expect, it can be a nice ride. The southern end has been lengthened it appears all the way from scenic 98 to Weeks Bay to the east, although I have not been on this section.
First of all, this is a very busy area for traffic. The trail runs right along scenic 98, along the shoulder of the road. In most places, it just replaced the sidewalk which was already there. The concrete was widened to 6 feet in these areas I suppose to qualify for the funds for a trail.
Most of the negative comments people have said is true. People will park on it, even though they are not supposed to. They leave their garbage cans on it. There are places where there may be short areas of sand or gravel across the trail to traverse. There are many street crossings, some very busy, depending on the time of day. Some places there are bad sections of concrete that need attention, but I have noticed most of these have been fixed. There are also a few significant hills, mostly near Alligator Alley, south of Montrose and north of Fairhope. South of Fairhope is fairly flat.
The trail is also very beautiful in many places, mostly around Montrose, Fairhope and Point Clear, with many large oak trees hanging over the road, nice views along the bay, rolling hills with nice bridges over the creeks. Also the trail runs right through the middle of Fairhope which has many interesting shops and restaurants. You might also want to check out the pier in Fairhope, which is one of the most photographed areas in the county. That is if you can make it back up the hill!
I think since this trail was first certified, the section from the USS Alabama Park to Alligator Alley in Daphne has been dropped since it was too dangerous riding across the bay on the shoulder of the causeway. It appears the official starting point is now at Alligator Alley since the mileage markers now begin at this point. If you do start your ride at this point, be forewarned. There is a steep 70 foot hill you will immediately have to deal with! Another option would be to start at Lott Park in Daphne and head south to avoid the hill and traffic.
This trail is used a lot by locals, so watch for walkers, runners and other bikers.
Also, just as a note, this trail is probably not best suited for a road bike, because of curbs and gutters, unless you ride from Fairhope south. There, it is mostly asphalt. I would recommend a hybrid bike instead.
Some interesting points along the trail include Alligator Alley, the United States Sports Academy, Bayfront Park, Village Point Park Preserve in Daphne, the tiny 1890 post office in Montrose, the floral clock, downtown Fairhope, the Fairhope Pier and Beach, the Grand Hotel in Point Clear and Weeks Bay Preserve.
The pavement is broken, heaved and in serious need of repacking. Our trails in Illinois are in better shape. On the trail today was sand, soil, broken glass, pine needles, grasses, horse manure, (I saw six horses on the paved trail yesterday, trash cans and parked vehicles. I’ve complained to police to no avail since it isn’t a priority. One truck pulled onto the trail in my path climbing an incline to retrieve his mail. There are no markings at intersections or to alert motorists to keep off of the trail. It would appear that the trail was built to say they have a trail but, they choose to not maintain it or do anything about violators. It’s a real shame and embarrassment.
I was raised in Alabama, what a shame that the State, County or City does nothing to improve this trail. Lots of people would love to ride or walk this but it appears the State nor the Local Government could care less about it.
nice easy trail, lots of benches and you might see some alligators
I walk alot and I live the trails in Alabama. this one is especially nice with all the large oak trees and Spanish miss it's beautiful and lots of benches. i live in Pensacola Florida but drive over to Alabama to walk in all the trails in the gulf state park in Orange beach and gulf shores, Alabama
I bike from weeks Bay on 98 to about 15 miles heading from there along route 1 into the city and I always enjoy it. There are some rough patches and one place where you have to cross the street to get to the other side to continue on the trail but overall it's worth it. The roads around the neighborhood are usually not that bad and you can easily switch to randomly using the roads to go through neighborhoods. There are a few nice slopes and I really enjoy the landscaping and scenery there. Yes sometimes a vehicle is half parked on it but it's easy to go around. I drive from Foley , about 10 miles away, a few times a week to bike it. It's a community pedestrian path and of course kids are out on it so it's not for racing on. But you can definitely go fast enough to get in a great workout if you want.
Sorry it was poorly maintained, and the cement was cracked and upheaved or sunk in several areas, not like Michigan! We also had to dodge constructions trucks etc.. parked on the trail! The was garbage strewn in and near the trail.. ? Spring pick up never picked up. But we did make it all the way from the weeks bay Nature center, and the town of Fairhope is beautiful!
I rode this trail for the first time four years ago and I wrote a review. I see that nothing has changed to make it better. It's a great trai though it lacks maintenance and monitoring. Motor vehicles park on it, garage cans are placed on it and there is debris on it. One car was parked across it where they were demolishing a building. There was a large parking lot that could have been used. As I went around the car parked across the trail a truck headed toward me with the driver looking over his shoulder! This forces cyclists to violate Alabama law and ride in the street whee a trail is provided. It's sad that nobody cares to take care of the Eastern Shore Trail.
This is such a great place to bike! I rode this trail in August and September 2016. The sky is beautiful and even when it rained, it felt good. I love how it connects to the larger trail which also connects to many others. So much to enjoy on these trails! Has more resting areas than any of the trails I've been on. Highly recommend!
Great interaction with the other trails, you can mix and match your length, nice to get off the beach and walk on harder surfaces. Very well kept.
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